Hiring someone to work on your home can feel a little daunting, especially if you are doing it without any referrals or recommendations from someone you know and trust. There are plenty of nightmare stories out there of remodeling contractors who did shoddy work or who “disappeared” after they were paid, only to leave behind a bunch of problems for the disappointed homeowner to deal with. So how can you avoid having a bad experience like that? In this post I would like to give you some tools to help you make the right decision the first time you hire a contractor.My tools are a series of questions you should ask a prospective contractor as well as yourself before you “sign on the dotted line.”
Starter Questions for your Remodeler
Of course there are the basic questions such as “How long have you been in business?”,”Are you licensed in the state of Pennsylvania?”(all home improvement contractors are required to be licensed in Pa. so if they are not, they are not a professional and/or trustworthy outfit to hire),”Are you insured?”, “Could you give me some references?”, etc., but then there are some deeper questions to ask such as, “How much experience have you had with this particular type of project we are needing you for?”, ” Will you be doing the work yourself or will it be someone else? And if someone else, what is their level of experience?” You want to be able to verify that they can provide you with the finished product that you are looking for. If you get two or three contractors to look at your project, try to keep the scope of work and specs the same so you are comparing apples to apples. However, keep in mind that sometimes one contractor has a unique idea or material that sets them apart as the right one for your project. It is rarely a good idea to base a decision on price alone because you usually “get what you paid for!”
Communication in remodeling
Another thing you will want to know is how easy it is to communicate with this individual or company? Do they respond promptly to your requests or does it feel like they don’t have time for you? Do they respond best to phone calls, texts, or email? Is their style of communication a good fit with you? Do they take the time to try and understand your needs and desires,or do they seem to have their own agenda and treat you like a novice? Do they show up on time for their appointments or at least call if they’re going to be late? Does their contract give enough detail so that all parties have the same expectations concerning the scope of work? Many remodeling problems can be traced back to a lack in the communication area. Are you comfortable with this person/company in the area of communication or do you smell trouble there?
And speaking of being comfortable with them, remember that they will be working in your home in some very private and personal areas. Ask yourself if you feel you can trust them and if they are someone whom you are OK with having in your home, even if you won’t be there.( which is sometimes the case)
Take these question “tools” and put them to work in your quest for a quality home remodeling contractor. I think you will find that it isn’t that difficult after all, and that your project hopes will become a reality that you will be glad you pursued!